Girls basketball: BCR Supersectional previews

St. Bede seeks first state appearance; Bureau Valley (2A), L-P (3A) host supersectionals

Members of the St. Bede Lady Bruins pose with the Class 1A Sectional plaque after defeating Serena on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 at Gardner-South Wilmington High School.

The St. Bede girls basketball team will make its first supersectional appearance in 24 years in Elgin while two supersectionals will be held in a gym near you. Here’s a look at the Elite 8 matchups:

Class 1A Elgin Harvest Academy Supersectional

(2) St. Bede (28-7) vs. (2) Ida Crown Academy (20-3)

Game time: 7 p.m. Monday.

Worthy of note: The Bedans return to supersectional play for the first time since 2000, reaching the Elite Eight level for the first time in school history. In 2000, there were two classes and the supersectional contest was part of the Sweet 16. The Bruins lost to Seneca 53-52 on the Irish’s home court in the 2000 supersectional. ... The Bruins ride a 17-game win streak, seeking one more win to punch their ticket to state for the first time. Senior center Ali Bosnich leads the Bruins in scoring at 16.1 ppg, just six points shy of 1,000 for her career. Ashlyn Ehm (8.4 ppg) has come on strong in the postseason with game-highs in the regional (19) and sectional (22) finals. ... Ida Crown is a Jewish Academy from Skokie, previously known as Chicago Ida Crown. It won its third straight regional, winning its first sectional championship by defeating Des Plaines Willows Academy 61-56 Thursday at the Chicago Collins Academy Sectional. The Aces have done the Bruins one better, carrying an 18-game win streak. Senior Ilana Schwartz averages 25.1 points per game. She scored 24 points with 11 rebounds in the sectional final. .... Ida Crown lost to Chicago Morgan Park 55-50 in last year’s sectional semifinals who St. Bede routed 75-22 in this year’s sectional semifinals.

Sectional championship scores: St. Bede 50, Serena 48; Ida Crown 61, Willows Academy 55.

Supersectional appearances: St. Bede 1 (0-1), Ida Crown 0-0.

BCR pick: St. Bede.

Next: Winner advances to the Class 1A State semifinals at 11:15 a.m. Thursday at CEFCU Arena in Normal vs. the winner of the Okawville Supersectional.

Class 2A Bureau Valley Supersectional

(1) Alleman (30-4) vs. (1) Peoria Notre Dame (31-4)

Game time: 7 p.m. Monday.

Worthy of note: The state’s No. 1 ranked team (Notre Dame) and No. 5 (Alleman) in 2A will clash at the Storm Cellar for the right to advance to state. Alleman routed Princeton for the regional championship on its home court and added the sectional crown by defeating Stillman Valley 45-36 at Oregon. It was Alleman’s first sectional championship since winning state in 2005 and seventh in school history. ... Notre Dame advanced by defeating Deer Creek-Mackinaw 59-37 at the Canton Sectional. It was just the the Irish’s third sectional championship and first since 1999 in Class AA. The Irish played Class 3A No. 1 ranked Lincoln to a 63-52 loss in January in a game they held a double-digit lead in the first half. Notre Dame senior Mya Wardle and her sister Emy are the daughters of Bradley University basketball coach Brian Wardle. ... This is Bureau Valley’s third time hosting supesectional games (previously in 3A) since 2016.

Sectional championship scores: Alleman 45, Stillman Valley 36; Notre Dame 59, Deer Creek-Mackinaw 37.

Supersectional appearances: Alleman 7 (3-4), Notre Dame 2 (1-1).

BCR pick: Notre Dame.

Next: Winner advances to the Class 2A State semifinals at 2 p.m. Thursday at CEFCU Arena in Normal vs. the winner of the Cicero Supersectional.

Class 3A LaSalle-Peru Supersectional

(1) Lincoln (35-0) vs. (3) Dixon (27-6)

Game time: 7 p.m. Monday.

Worthy of note: Illinois Valley fans will be treated to not only the No. 1 ranked team in 3A in Lincoln, but also perhaps the best player in the state in Lincoln senior Kloe Froebe. She went over 3,000 career points (3,183) this season and is ranked No. 7 in all-time scoring in state history, looking to move up to No. 5. She had 45 points in last year’s state semifinals. She was an early commit to Colorado State. ... Lincoln is loaded with talent with a cast which has played together for years and a group that finished second in Class 3A in volleyball. Lincoln senior star Becca Heitzig was the Class 3A state cross country champion. ... The Railers dismantled No. 2 ranked Morton, a team that has won four state titles since 2015, 61-30, for the sectional championship at East Peoria. ... Lincoln lost to LaGrange Park Nazareth Academy 63-52 in the state title game last year and has been on a mission to take that final step this year. The Railers are 71-1 over the past two years. ... Dixon beat Kaneland 45-36 for the sectional title at Sycamore, their second win of the year over the Knights. The sectional championship was Dixon’s first since 1990 and fourth in school history. It earned its only state appearance in 1984, finishing third in Class AA. The Duchesses won their first 10 games of the year and now have won their last nine.

Sectional championship scores: Lincoln 61, Morton 30; Dixon 45, Kaneland 36.

Supersectional appearances: Lincoln 5 (3-2), Dixon 4 (1-3)

BCR pick: Lincoln

Next: Winner advances to the Class 3A State semifinals at 11:15 a.m. Friday at CEFCU Arena in Normal vs. the winner of the River Forest Supersectional.